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Pacific Sand Lance

(Ammodytes hexapterus)

     Only juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
     Look for:  Slim, sword-shaped body 
                          Silvery sides with grey-green above
                          No pelvic fin
                          To 28 cm, typically 12 cm at maturity
                          Thin dorsal fin along length of back
                          Often found in schools
                          Needle-like nose
     Diet:  Both adults and larval sea lance feed primarily on 
                 Sand lance are an important food source for many 
                     marine creatures including 
salmon.  Sand lance
                     compose 35% of the diet of juvenile salmon. 
                     Juvenile chinook salmon depend on sand lance for 
 of their diet.
    Habitat: Spawn in inshore waters and feed in offshore waters
                    to depths of 47 m.
    Range: Southern California to Alaska
    Reproduction: Sand lance spawning occurs at high tide in 
         shallow water on sand or sand-gravel beaches.  From early 
         November to mid February, eggs are deposited in the upper 
         tidal area. Sand lance 
eggs are burrowed into the substrate 
         and are generally covered 
by a coating of sand, making them
extremely difficult to detect 
on beaches.  Juveniles remain 
         in  nearshore waters throughout the summer months. 

Shiner Perch

(Cymatogaster aggregata)

Both adults and juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
     Look for:  Body is an elongated oval with large scales
                        Greenish black and silvery sides
                        Sides have fine horizontal bars with three broad,
yellow bands.
                        Breeding males can be obscured by dark speckles.
                        Up to 20 cm, typically around 11 cm
                        Short head and small mouth 
                        Often found in loose schools or aggregates.
     Diet:  Juveniles feed on zooplankton such as copepods. Adults
                   feed on crustaceans, mollusks and algae.
    Habitat: Common in bays and estuaries.  Favor eelgrass beds.
    Range: Baja California to Alaska
    Reproduction: Shiner perch are one of the few fish species that 
    give birth to live young.  Breeding involves courtship and 
    mating. In spring to summer, shiners move into shallow water 
   where  females give birth and then mate again.  Birthing tends 
    to take place May to June in Fishing Bay.  A female may hold 
    the sperm of several males as eggs develop within her.  In late  
    fall to early winter, the eggs are fertilized.  Four to six months   
    after fertilization, the female returns to shallow water to bear    
    young. Juvenile shiners remain in shallow waters. Life cycle is  
    typically two years although shiner perch can live for up to 
    seven years.

Striped Perch

(Embiotca lateralis)

Both adults and juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
     Look for:  Body is an elongated oval 
                          Brown coppery base color
                          10–15 blue-purple horizontal stripes that run from                          
                                   head to tail     
                          May have small purple spots or stripes on head
                          20–30 cm, up to 40 cm
                        Spines on dorsal and anal fins
                        Often found in loose schools or aggregates
     Diet:  C
rustaceans, worms, mussels and herring eggs
     Habitat: Rocky shorelines and in kelp beds which provide 
                             protection from predators
    Range: Baja California to Alaska
    Reproduction: Like shiners, striped perch 
give birth to live 
during summer months.

Penpoint Gunnel

(Apodichthys flavidus)

Both adults and juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
     Look for:  Long slim body
                           Green, maroon or brown color  
                           Coloration can change to match vegetation
                           Averages 25 cm, 
to 45 cm
                           Dark bar below each eye
                           Row of spots along the mid-body
                           May have short, pale bars extending down from 
                                      dorsal fin.
 first spine of the anal fin is large and grooved 
                            like a fountain pen.
                           Continuous dorsal, tail and anal fins, but no
                                      ventral fins. 
      Diet:  Small crustaceans and mollusks
      Habitat: Intertidal to 60'.  Can be found in eelgrass beds and 
                                kelp stands. If vegetation is not present, may      
                                inhabit rocky areas and crevices.
                           The penpoint gunnel may be found out of water, 
                                especially under rocks. Can breathe air when
                                not in water. 
     Range: Southern California to the Gulf of Alaska


Crescent Gunnel

(Pholis laeta)

       Both adults and juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay. 
       Look for:  Long slim body, similar to other gunnels
                             Body color varies and may include browns,
                                    reds or yellows.  
                              Series of crescent-shaped markings along back
                              Averages 25 cm; to 45 cm
        Habitat: Intertidal.  Can be found well hidden in tight cracks 
crevices as well as in tidepools.  May be more       
                                 visible at night.  
       Range: Northern California to Bering Sea

Saddleback Gunnel 
Pholis ornata)
    Both adults and juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
      Look for: Long, slim body, similar to other gunnels    
                          Body color varies from brown to red to yellow
                          Dorsal fin has 73–100 stiff spines
                          Anal fin has 1 to 3 spines in front of 32–53 soft rays
                          Averages 25 cm; to 45 cm
       Habitat: Intertidal.  Found in inshore areas, on mud bottoms 
                                  among eelgrass and seaweed.  
    Diet: Feeds on small mollusks and crustaceans.
    Range: California to Alaska


sand lance

gravid shiner perch

striped perch 

Picturepenpoint gunnel

crescent gunnel

saddleback gunnel